Saturday, December 2, 2017

Upscale trattoria

San Francisco, December 1, 2017—
I WILL PROBABLY NEVER get used to the contemporary dining scene. When I was a boy, and well into our marriage, restaurants were comparatively few. One dined at home, lunched at school or work. Everyone I knew had a lunchbucket of some kind, even office workers.

Now it seems there are restaurants everywhere. I read the other day there are some 7500 in San Francisco, one for every hundred citizens. And I understand there are apartments and even houses being designed now lacking cooking facilities, barring toasters I suppose and perhaps microwave ovens.

We were on Hayes Street this afternoon: one eating place after another, both sides the street. We were there to try a place new to us but well reviewed, a trattoria I suppose you'd call it. We began with a classic tuna-and-cannellini salad, tricked up a bit beyond what I think of as authenticity with capers and "tonnato aioli," a little too much of that, and it a little too gloppy, to my taste.

("Tonnato aioli"? The collision of languages and culinary streams is unsettling. The entire menu description was

tuna conserva, cannelini beans, celery, red onion, caper berries, tonnato aioli
You forgive the occasional honest diner who wants to know simply what's going to be on the plate. Tuna conserva? Caper berries?)

Oh well: glop aside, the tuna-cannellini salad was fine, and so was the bucatini all'amatriciana, a dish we somehow overlooked last week in Rome. This did seem authentic: chunks of pancetta (not guanciale), tomato sauce, a good dusting of grated pecorino. A very pleasant midday supper. I'd go back.

     🍷A Martini; "Vino della Casa": a Sangiovese blend from Napa county; don't know further details; perfectly acceptable.
A Mano, 450 Hayes Street, San Francisco; 📞+1 (415) 506-7401

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating: 2016      2015     2017

1 comment:

louann said...

From reading your posts I think you are much more educated about current dining habits than many of us! I will say though that I find it strange how my sons all eat out SO MUCH, compared to what I was doing when they were growing up - and how much they follow the growth of new restaurants etc. For me, too expensive, for them, they deserve it. And the use of language - one of my particular issues - please just make it clear. I realize that I am tending to go to tried and true, and despite reviews, often avoid the newer ones - both because of atmosphere as well as ideas about what food means. I cook about 5 days a week, and when I decide to go outside of my own domain, I really don't want to be surprised in a bad way.